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Hollis's Staff Picks

The Song of Achilles: A Novel By Madeline Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062060624
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2012

A loving and vulnerable telling of the classic myth that reveals its soft underbelly of youth and love. If you want a book that makes you clutch your heart and stare at the ceiling to process the last paragraph, look no further. Tenderness and love are at the very heart of this novel, spanning centuries of both love and loss, victory and heartache.

Hawk Mountain: A Novel By Conner Habib Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324064862
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 1st, 2023

The eye-catching cover hides a subtle, brutal, and chilling novel, I promise. It’s so atmospheric, so all-consuming that I almost missed a flight because I was reading so thoroughly. A divorced English teacher and his son come face-to-face with his old high school bully, who inserts himself so smoothly and confidently into his life that the lead is sent into an instant tailspin. The story that unfolds is one of fear, love, obsession, and murder– but not in the direction you expect! A strong recommendation for people who love suspense and gore, but not outright horror.

This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: S&S/Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

A deviously-written and tragic futuristic love story between agents on either side of the Time War, where two factions change the course of history in different timelines to tip the scales in their favor. These agents, Red and Blue, meet across the battlefield and communicate through letters, and what begins as playful teasing and cocky declarations of victory slowly and deliciously turns into picking each other's brains, asking about their inner lives, and slowly learning the true scope of the feelings they have for one another. The writing is flowery and perfectly characterizes the characters’ transformations, both born from their surroundings and each other. Perfect for fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope, long-distance relationships, sapphic yearning, and anti-establishment science-fiction. 


Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 By Gege Akutami (Created by) Cover Image
By Gege Akutami (Created by)
ISBN: 9781974710027
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: VIZ Media LLC - December 3rd, 2019

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition By Betty Edwards Cover Image
ISBN: 9781585429202
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: TarcherPerigee - April 26th, 2012

If there’s a book for destroying art block, this is it. The mix of critique of artists who have taken the course prior, mathematical exercises to explore objective ways of drawing, and drilling home fundamentals that we’ve internalized but forgotten about creates an environment that really puts your brain to work. Sometimes the right remedy to cure art block is to take a break and think subjectively, but sometimes the right remedy is cold, hard fact and routine– this book is the latter. If you’re willing to work, this book pays tremendous dividends. I highly recommend pairing this with “The Artist’s Way” if you’re looking for even more for your brain to chew on.

The Artist's Way: 30th Anniversary Edition By Julia Cameron Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143129257
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 25th, 2016

Spy x Family, Vol. 1 By Tatsuya Endo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781974715466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: VIZ Media LLC - June 2nd, 2020

To summarize, we have: super spies, domestic period drama, fake marriages and romantic tension, assassination attempts, toddlers with superpowers, and cute dogs. An undercover assassin and spy agree to enter a marriage of convenience to hide themselves from suspicion in a 50’s America-adjacent city– but neither know each others’ true identity. How can an assassin avoid capture and a spy avoid discovery? Apparently, it’s by adopting a toddler (who’s also a telepath, to make things even more difficult). The facade of domesticity and romance leads to more and more situations between the two leads that had me clawing at my face begging them to hold hands at LEAST.

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #1) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250313188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

This book shoved aside all other interests out of my head once I got into it. A must-have for fans of gothic horror, battle royales, murder mysteries, and mean gays. The mix of contemporary tone and classic sci-fi suspense creates an atmosphere entirely unique to Muir’s writing.

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #2) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250313218
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

Ink Blood Sister Scribe: A Good Morning America Book Club Pick By Emma Törzs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063253469
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: William Morrow - May 30th, 2023

A thoughtful and intimate novel not lacking in suspense. Fantasy, magic, and mystery are simply backdrops for the family drama and love that weaves through the story. Even though it’s a slow build, all that scene-setting is worth it, I promise; all that domesticity lends itself well to the thruline of blood, magic, and action.

The Salt Grows Heavy By Cassandra Khaw Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250830913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Nightfire - May 2nd, 2023

I’m not usually a fan of fairytale retellings, but this one gets a pass; it follows the aftermath of an alternate version of The Little Mermaid, where the siren-like mermaid instead burns the kingdom to the ground and abandons the ashes she and a masked doctor leave behind. It’s a perfect short story chronicling a snapshot of their relationship, their silent camaraderie and unspoken understanding of one another and their minds as they come upon unspeakable horrors committed in the name of gods and immortality.The only thing I have a problem with is how short it is– I could read hundreds of pages of these two walking in loving, desperate silence anywhere. Good for fans of wandering episodic series like The Witcher and Castlevania, and one-sitting reads that leave you desperate for more. 

Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix (Remixed Classics #9) By Gabe Cole Novoa Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250869807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - January 16th, 2024

I’ve never considered myself a Pride and Prejudice enjoyer, mostly because the slog of regency etiquette isn’t cut through with anything. This novel remedies that, and then some– a punchier main character adds a strength and defiance that makes the familial drama much more interesting. By making the lead a trans man, Novoa has breathed a new life into Austen’s classic and added an immeasurable depth and heart to the struggle against societal expectations of men and women. Though it’s considered YA, it’s a straightforward and meaningful read for any age, whether you’re here for the period drama aesthetic, queer romance, or just a strong and defiant narrator.

Wakenhyrst By Michelle Paver Cover Image
ISBN: 9781788549578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Head of Zeus - January 23rd, 2024

If you need a book to devour in one sitting, this is the one for you! I couldn’t put this book down once I started really getting into it; the plot thickens the same way snow would before an avalanche. In short, a woman retells her childhood as it is formed and misshapen by Victorian ideals, fire-and-brimstone Christianity, and her father’s descent into madness after he uncovers a “cursed” painting. This book is fascinating for the protagonist’s earnest and authentic perspective, both as a Victorian child and later woman- how her childlike wonder turns into spirituality, and how that spirituality is at odds with the Victorian ideals of the time and makes her father even more paranoid as he falls prey to conspiracy theories and folktales about the devil. Perfect for enjoyers of period pieces, family drama, kind-of-but-not-really supernatural, and a man that falls prey to his own terrors.